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James O'Donoghue and Elijah O'Sullivan in Smother

Smother stars taken with stunning Clare landscape


THE Giant’s Playground in the Burren was one place that made a great impression on Justine Mitchell who plays Elaine in the RTE hit show Smother.

The show was filmed in North Clare and on a Zoom call with the press last week she said the location had stunned her. “The Giant’s Playground in the Burren, that was incredible. It really did feel like we got there and moments before like two dinosaurs had stopped fighting each other and gone around the corner somewhere. It has this ancient feeling, and it’s really good for you soul, you go like I’m so tiny, I’m so tiny!”

She said the opening shot of the second series of Smother helped evoke the feeling the Burren gave her. “We are tiny little specks on this eternal landscape, and that’s so good for your head.”

James O’Donoghue who plays her on screen son Calum was also hugely impressed by the North Clare landscape.

“We all felt like we were in a Star Wars movie! We were like this is unbelievable. It feels like an alien planet, the way the landscape is carved out is amazing.”

Justine said that for most of the time filming, the staff could do very little together. “We just couldn’t hang out. We aspired to go down to Clahane or to Lahinch beach and have a few tinnies, but it was always so cold, or we never got round to it. People’s birthdays and stuff like that, it was the most bizarre thing.

“I was lucky, I had a wee cottage down in Clahane, my husband came over and we brought our dog so it didn’t feel too intense or lonely, I got to go back to him every night which was lovely. If there’s a season three I imagine the restrictions will be softened and we might go for a pint together!”

Smother has been one of RTE’s most popular shows of the last two years and continues this Sunday night.

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